February 10, 2014


Robyn & Neneh Cherry Get Deliciously Weird in "Out of the Black"

The inimitable Swedish electro-pop goddess Robyn is no newbie to a ballsy collabo. Just ask Snoop Dogg and the goofball boys of the Lonely Island.

Perhaps that's why fellow Swede and genre-bending artist Neneh Cherry sought out the "Dancing On My Own" singer for the lead single from her first album of solo material in 16 years, Blank Project.

"Out of the Black" is a barebones, fairly experimental track produced by Four Tet, the UK producer behind Cherry's upcoming 10-track LP.

"Out of the Black" reads like a call and response with Robyn and Neneh taking dibs on alternating verses and harmonizing on the chorus. Neneh's raspy but honeyed alto works surprisingly well with Robyn's trademark nasally-kid vocal styling.

The singing is set against a dominantly mixed basic (i.e., real) drumbeat, a rudimentary keyboard melody and a few random electronic embellishments. It's odd and a bit eerie—and surprisingly infectious for being so minimal.

Best Robyn spitting (OK, more like speaking slowly in staccato that rhymes) line in "Out of the Black": "I'm Robyn on the microphone into the speaker / You know I'm not sick like that but I've got a fever."

Just take a moment to really digest that. It's at 1:38 (you're welcome). Listen to it above.